My first ever Sean/Elijah story, written back in February 2005. I think it holds up pretty well, all things considered...
I check my watch. It’s finally 10 p.m.: 1 a.m. on the east coast. He should be back at his hotel room by now, I reason, having managed with difficulty to keep my self-imposed deadline and not disturb his night on the town. Outside on the deck under a full moon, I flip open my cell phone and hit his speed dial; it’s answered on the first ring. I smile to myself. He’s impatient, too.
“Hey.” Elijah says.
“How are you?”
Three little words, and he’s off and running: telling me about how happy he is to be back in New York, about the fun he had as an impromptu DJ at a bar on the lower East Side, and taking in a show at the Bowery Ballroom. He’s been drinking, I can tell: his potty mouth is very much in evidence as he waxes rhapsodic about a new band he heard (‘Fuck, Seanie, they were fucking amazing, I’m telling you. You should have fucking heard them!’) I can’t help but laugh, his enthusiasm carries across 3000 miles as clearly as if he’s standing there beside me. He tells me about an MTV award he lost (‘to Mischa-Fucking-Barton, can you believe it?’) and laughs it off, but I burn inside with indignation, wondering when he’ll start getting the accolades his career deserves.
I silently wish that I could be there with him, for perhaps the millionth time since I dropped him at the airport the previous day.
“I miss you.”
Three little words that can’t begin to express the crazy, jumbled mix of emotions I feel whenever he’s away. ‘The Worry Hobbit’, I should have been called. I worry about his safety of course (that diverted flight on September 11th is always in the back of my mind). But there are other, deeper worries this time. He’s back in New York, back in the city that almost stole him from me in the confusion and desperation that was the aftermath of New Zealand, when I didn’t know if this thing- this glorious, amazing thing- between us would stand up to the harsh light of the California day, or would turn out to be just another sordid film set affair. In the end, it shone in the light- no, it blazed in the light- but the scars are still there, just beneath the surface, invisible tattoos of past pain. I know I can only hold him if I set him free, like some wild creature, and trust in love to bring him home again. But giving that trust, setting him free, is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
“I love you.”
Three little words, spoken softly in response, and they dissolve every one of my worries. I still can’t quite believe I’ve been given this gift: Elijah’s love. It’s a love that transcends our differences in age, personality and interests; that accepts me as I am, with all my flaws and insecurities. It’s a love that propelled him onto a stage in New Orleans to grab a mike and tell his feelings to the entire world; that later found him holding me on the bathroom floor of my hotel room, while I brought back up all the alcohol I’d recklessly consumed as Bacchus. It’s a love that inspired me to reach a sacred pinnacle in my acting career on the slopes of Mount Ruapehu; that sustained me through the difficult times along the way, when I harbored doubts about the films, but most of all about myself. It’s a love that tried to give me up, for my own good and that of my family. It’s a love that has never been selfish, but always giving.
It’s a love that brings that wild creature home to me, every time.
“See you tomorrow.”
Three little words that I hold close against the lonely night to come, after we say our good nights and hang up. I’m already imagining our meeting at the airport, how he’ll launch himself at me, the way he did in that hotel lobby years ago, the day our souls connected and my entire world was knocked out of its orderly path and into a new orbit. Already imagining how it will feel to have his arms tight about me, and his voice saying in my ear, “Let’s go home, Sean, I need you.”
I snap my cell phone shut.
“I’ll be waiting.”
Three little words that he doesn’t need to hear. He knows.